But in other cases, it can be hard to go against the “doctor’s orders.” Being fully informed can help.
While exploring baby teeth extractions, I found a wealth of information on the web and discovered that countries such as Britain and Australia had a consistent strategy of not interfering when two rows of teeth occur. Their rationale made sense: the adult teeth are constantly being pushed forward by the tongue and in time they will dislodge the baby teeth, leaving the adult teeth to be pushed into place by the child’s tongue. Intervention in this case carries with it real problems that are not balanced by any actual benefit: general anesthetic has its own inherent dangers, and (I can vouch for this one!) local anesthetic may put the child off dentists for life.
I also took advice and strength from the medical guru in our family (my mother-in-law) and decided to let nature take its course. I declined the Novocain and extraction for my son’s front teeth.
Eight months later, my son’s big teeth are growing in white and straight, and I’m glad I didn’t put him through unnecessary pain. As we watched Finding Nemo last week, he grinned and laughed, with not a glimpse of shark’s teeth (or crooked teeth) in sight.